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KC SuperStar finalists include Jewish contestant

KC SuperStar finalists include Jewish contestant

Paris Naster is one of 10 finalists vying to become the next KC SuperStar. This year marked the first time 17-year-old Paris Naster auditioned for KC SuperStar, the Jewish Community Center’s “American... Read more...

Bestselling author, Israeli columnist Ari Shavit to speak at Federation Annual Meeting

Bestselling author, Israeli columnist Ari Shavit to speak at Federation Annual Meeting

Ari Shavit Provocative Israeli columnist and New York Times bestselling author Ari Shavit will bring his views on Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the Jewish Community Campus on Wednesday,... Read more...

Listening Post

THE SINGING RABBI — Rabbi Larry Karol recently mounted a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to record a third album. The Kansas City native surpassed his initial fundraising goal last week and hopes... Read more...

HBHA expands Jewish studies program, names Rabbi Rockoff Matmidim director

Last year’s first grade Matmidim participants at HBHA — Mendel Tiechtel (from left), Chaya Morgenstern, Zachary Granoff, Rayli Kopelman, Baruch Chaim Mazel, Livia Noorollah and Ari Green — posed... Read more...

Israeli terror survivor to tell courageous story here next week

Kay Wilson Some people may find the difference between a terror victim and a terror survivor to be very subtle. In the case of Kay Wilson, the difference is not subtle. Wilson, who will speak here on... Read more...

Emissaries serve Israel here in K.C. while friends serve on the front lines

Barney Goodman Campers gathered around Israeli shlichim (emissaries) Sapir Davidov (top row, second from left) and Noy Tiram (top row, second from right). Now that camp is over, they will travel a little... Read more...

Balloon Festival features new venue, entertainment and cooking competitions

The Great Midwest Balloon Festival, founded by Robbie and Steve Small, has changed venues for this year’s event. It happens this weekend, Aug. 8-10 at the Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan. Festival... Read more...

Two Israeli books: one serious, one for fun

“Living Beyond Terrorism,” Zieva Dauber Konvisser, Gefen Publishing, May 2014 It was Aug. 9, 2001. I was in Jerusalem after a 19-year absence to attend a Hadassah national convention and do research... Read more...

Listening Post

L’SHALOM, L’SALAAM, TO PEACE — Sheila Sonnenschein is now involved in Mothers on the Side of Peace, a new grassroots movement for people — you don’t have to be a mother — who side with peace.... Read more...

Soldier tells rally crowd there is no Plan B, Israel must win the fight

Photo by Alyssa Dinberg/Jewish Federation Supporters of Israel filled the Kehilath Israel Synagogue to capacity Monday night for the Community Solidarity Gathering. “The only option is to fight back... Read more...

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Letters to the Editor

Israel is the victim I can’t help but find a correlation between Muslim migration into Europe and other non-Muslim countries and the rising clamor of anti-Semitism in those countries. Hamas instigated... Read more...

The spiritual journey of a lifetime

The spiritual journey of a lifetime

Ten local women participated in the 2014 Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project trip to Israel last month. Posing for this photo at the Decks in Tiberious are Stacy Wright (back row, from left), Patricia... Read more...

Letters to the Editor

We need to combat hate Anti-Semitism is a worldwide problem that is getting worse, especially overseas. Our best protection is education, making living conditions better for others and swift eradication... Read more...

The underlying war: Islamism versus democracy

Are Jews the canary in Western Civilization’s cultural mine? Read more...

Turning 80

During my journey through life, as the years have rolled on, I have discovered that time flies even when you’re not having fun — and suddenly even a watershed event can sneak up on one, as it did me.... Read more...

Letters to the Editor

Why can’t Jews speak Hebrew? How come so few Jews in North America know how to speak Hebrew? Sure a lot of them know how to read Hebrew from Bar and Bat Mitzvahs and there is a flowery English translation... Read more...

Why we’re letting our daughter stay in Israel in wartime

Let’s just say that missiles and bomb shelters were not on the itinerary of our 16-year-old daughter’s pilgrimage trip to Israel this summer. I spoke to her this morning. Yeah, the alarms are unnerving,... Read more...

Letter to the Editor

Half-truths and anti-Semitism I was irate after watching the late CNN news on July 10. Anderson Cooper pretended to deliver a factual report about Israel’s bombing of Arab residences, with a slight... Read more...

Amidst turmoil, life in Israel continues to be meaningful

My mother wants me to come home. I’ve been calling her every day, and she wants me on a plane immediately. She has been watching the news and following events as they unfold here in Israel and she is... Read more...

Letter to the Editor

Conference gives families hope My husband Harold and I were fortunate to attend the Mucolipidosis Type 4 (ML4) Foundation Family & Research Conference last month in Atlanta. ML4, a relatively unknown... Read more...

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Celebrations

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Buchbinder Birth

Buchbinder Birth

Baree Nottberg and Scott Buchbinder of Overland Park announce the birth June 27 of a son, Theo Everett Read more...

Zwick-Pohlman Engagement

Zwick-Pohlman Engagement

Arvin and Tammy Zwick of Overland Park announce the engagement of their daughter, Heather Ashley Zwick, to Andrew David Pohlman, son of Jeff and Robin Pohlman of Memphis, Tenn. Read more...

Nerman Wedding Anniversary

Margaret and Jerome Nerman will celebrate their 73rd wedding anniversary on Friday, Aug. 8. They are lifelong residents of Kansas City and have lived in Leawood since 1990. Read more...

Krashin Birth

Daniel and Jacki Krashin of Wilmete, Ill., announce the birth May 20 of a son, Drake Evan. They are also the parents of Madilyn Paige. Read more...

Unowsky Bat Mitzvah

Keri and Daniel Unowsky announce the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter, Sarah Beatrice, on Saturday, Aug. 9, at Beth Sholom Synagogue in Memphis, Tenn. Read more...

Weiner-Conley Engagement

Barbara and Jeff Weiner of Prairie Village announce the engagement of their daughter, Rebecca Brooke Weiner, to Jason Robert Conley, son of Randi and Larry Haith and Kim and Bob Conley. Read more...

Bock-Lewis Engagement

Lynne and David Bock announce the engagement of their daughter, Hannah Rose Bock, to Joshua Aaron Lewis, son of Sheryl and Jim Lewis of Deerfield, Ill. Read more...

Chase Bat Mitzvah

Debbie and Jeff Chase announce the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter, Talia Faye, at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 2, at Congregation Beth Torah. Read more...

Passer-Wolkofsky Engagement

Sandy and Steve Passer announce the engagement of their daughter, Emily Passer, to Peter Wolkofsky, son of Michael and Vicky Wolkofsky of Queens, N.Y. Read more...

Zwillenberg 50th Anniversary

Morris and Linda (Fein) Zwillenberg will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on Saturday, July 26. They were married at Beth Shalom Synagogue in Hartford, Conn., on July 26, 1964. Read more...

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Obituaries

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Rosenberg, Abraham B.

Abraham B. Rosenberg, 93, of Overland Park, passed away Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014, at Village Shalom. Read more...

Spiegel, Robert Alan

Spiegel, Robert Alan

Robert Allan Spiegel, 76, of Ra’anana, Israel, passed away on Monday, July 28, 2014. Read more...

Wurzburger, Irene

Irene Wurzburger, 94, of Overland Park, passed away on Sunday, Aug 10, 2014. Read more...

Beiman, Melvyn

Melvyn Beiman, 82, of Lee’s Summit, died on Wednesday, July 24, 2014, at the Village House on the campus of John Knox Village. Read more...

Jacobson, Herbert Roy

Herbert Roy Jacobson passed away Friday, Aug. 1, 2014, in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Read more...

Kaplan, Seymour

Seymour Kaplan, 88, of Overland Park passed away on Monday, Aug. 4, 2014, after a long battle with cancer. Read more...

Pfau, Gladys Levine

Gladys Levine Pfau, age 86, of Overland Park, passed away on Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014. Read more...

Sandhaus, Frances Zurovsky

Frances Zurovsky Sandhaus, 98, passed away on Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at Kansas City Hospice House. Read more...

Beiman, Melvyn

Melvyn Beiman, 82, of Lee’s Summit, Mo., died on Wednesday, July 24, 2014, at the Village House on the campus of John Knox Village. Read more...

Elyachar, Daniel

Daniel Elyachar, 87, loving father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, uncle and friend, passed away peacefully on Monday, July 21, 2014, at his home in New York City. Read more...

The Jewish Community Center celebrates 10 years of community theater productions at White Theatre

The hit musical “Fiddler on the Roof” will open the 10th season at the White Theatre. A partnership with The Theatre in the Park, “Shrek,” will close it. Of course there will be all sorts of variety in between, announced JCC Director of Cultural Arts Krista Blackwood.

“ ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ and ‘Shrek’ will make great bookends to our 10th season in the Lewis and Shirley White Theatre,” Blackwood said.

Each of the five self-produced shows will feature a different production team with talent including Steven Eubank, the artistic director of Egads! Theatre Company, Paul Hough, the former director of production for the American Heartland Theatre, Tim Bair, the producing artistic director of Theatre in the Park, Bill Christie, a veteran of American Heartland Theatre, Barb Nichols, who directed the White Theatre’s 2013 production of “Les Misérables” and Daniel Doss, who most recently has been the associate conductor for the international Broadway tour of “The Addams Family.”

“We’re pleased to welcome these well-respected directors and music directors to our facility, and we look forward to a vibrant community theater season under their talented leadership,” says Blackwood.

The season will open with a rousing “L’Chaim!” as Steven Eubank, with musical direction by Daniel Doss, bring “Fiddler on the Roof” to life. In January, Barb Nichols will direct the Tony award-winning Charles Busch comedy “Tale of the Allergist’s Wife.” In February, Paul Hough will bring “From Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weill: A Musical Voyage” to Kansas City area audiences, a cabaret production for which he received the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards. In April, Bill Christie will take the helm of John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men” and in July Tim Bair will direct “Shrek,” a co-production with Theatre in the Park.

“It is shaping up to be a 10th season to remember,” says Blackwood. “Of course, our community theater productions are only part of our season. We will announce our Visiting Artist series at a later date and we are very excited about the great collaborations we’ve cooked up. Stay tuned!”

 

‘Fiddler on the Roof’

Nov. 8 – 23

Book by Joseph Stein

Music by Jerry Bock

Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick

Based on Sholem Aleichem’s stories by special permission of Arnold Perl 

Directed by Steven Eubank

Musical Direction by Daniel Doss

“Fiddler on the Roof,” has captured the hearts of people all over the world with its humor, warmth and honesty. Based on the stories of Sholom Aleichem, “Fiddler on the Roof” features timeless songs such as “Tradition,” “Matchmaker,” “If I Were a Rich Man” and “Sunrise, Sunset.” Join in the tears of laughter, joy and sadness as Tevye, a poor milkman, tries to keep his family’s beloved traditions and faith strong in a changing world where life can be as precarious as a Fiddler on the Roof.

Rated PG

 

‘Tale of the Allergist’s Wife’

Jan. 10 – 18, 2015

By Charles Busch

Directed by Barb Nichols

Marjorie Taub, a middle-aged Upper West Side doctor’s wife, is engulfed in a life crisis of Medea-like proportions. She tries to lose herself in a world of art-galleries, foreign films and avant-garde theater, but nothing shakes her lethargy. Marjorie’s spirits suddenly soar when Lee Green, her fascinating and somewhat mysterious childhood friend, appears on her doorstep and turns her world upside down.

Rated PG-13

 

‘From Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weill: A Musical Voyage’

Feb. 14-March 1, 2015

Music by Kurt Weill

Lyrics by Maxwell Andersen, Marc Blitzstein, Bertolt Brecht, Jacques Deval, Michael Feingold, Ira Gershwin, Paul Green, Langston Hughes, Alan Jay Lerner, Ogden Nash, George Tabori and Arnold Weinstein

Text and format by Gene Lerner

Musical arrangements by Newton Wayland

Originally directed by Donald Saddler 

Originally produced by Gene Lerner and Hank Kaufman

This production revised by Paul Hough and Joe Van Slyke

Additional arrangements by Scott Harlan

Directed by Paul Hough

“Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weill” is a joyous and moving celebration of Kurt Weill, a cantor’s son and one of the most extraordinary composers of the 20th century. Weill’s greatest theater songs are presented in a fluid blend of music and story, spanning 20 eventful years, from Von Hindenburg and Hitler in Germany to Roosevelt and Truman in the United States. Weill created some of the most popular and daring musical theatre pieces of his day, collaborating with a dazzling array of literary giants — Bertolt Brecht, Langston Hughes, Maxwell Andersen, Alan Jay Lerner and Ira Gershwin — blurring the boundary between “serious”and “popular” music. This revue artfully mixes cabaret and commentary to tell Weill’s story, featuring timeless hits like “Mack the Knife,” “Speak Low” and “September Song.”

Special on-stage cabaret seating

Rated PG-13

 

‘Of Mice and Men’

April 11-19, 2015

By John Steinbeck

Directed by Bill Christie

The Nobel Prize-winning American writer John Steinbeck brings his birthplace, California’s Salinas Valley, to memorable life in this touching and tragic play. Two friends, George and Lennie, drift from farm to farm, dreaming of owning a piece of land to call their own. When Lennie runs into trouble, George must choose between his friend or staying the course to fulfill his dreams. A story of friendship, loneliness, racism and the struggle for personal independence, “Of Mice and Men” is the tale of the poignant journey of two people striving for a better life and a little piece of the American Dream.

Also includes student matinee performances

Rated PG-13

 

“Shrek”

July 11–26, 2015

Music by Jeanine Tesori

Book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire

Based on the DreamWorks Animation motion picture and book by William Steig

Directed by Tim Bair

In a faraway kingdom turned upside down, things get ugly when a swamp-dwelling ogre — not a handsome prince — shows up to rescue a feisty princess. Throw in a wise-cracking donkey, a villain with a short temper, a cookie with an attitude, and many other fairy tale misfits, and you’ve got the kind of mess that calls for a real hero. Luckily, there’s one on hand … and his name is Shrek.

Featuring a terrific score of 19 all-new songs, big laughs, great dancing and breathtaking scenery, “Shrek The Musical” is part romance, part twisted fairy tale, and complete irreverent fun for everyone!